Tear Down Begins

Start date was Feb 22nd 2002 for tear down. Tear down was about 3 months. Probably an average of 20 hours a week worth of work, so about 300 hours to get the car torn down to a shell and sent it out for blasting.

With any Car restoration there are literally thousands of parts to inventory and track. I used digital pictures to document all the original details. Hardware and small parts were put in plastic bags and numbered. I used a spreadsheet to inventory all bags. Ended up with about 450 Bags of parts.

The interior was the first to go. The car had very little of the original interior, however I documented as much of the original interior as possible and saved everything. The rubber weather stripping was completely rotten. Things move pretty quickly during the tear down. It was about a 3 month process working mostly on weekends to strip the car down to base components. Storage of parts was the biggest challenge, I ended up with about 30 numbered boxes. I kept a manifest of the contence of each box. All the original interior material and rubber was saved as reference when reinstalling. Note the incorrect fuel pump on the trunk wall, This was a short term fix to get the car going.
The chrome and all exterior hardware was the next to go. All of this will be replaced or re plated. The rear deck lid was in nice shape and however all of the glass was scratched and will most likely not be used. The deck lid channel was rusted out as was the trunk floor. Based on what I've seen, this is the most common area to rust on FHCs. Fortunately the sheet metal is all available.
Dash stripping is pretty much done here, and only the wiring harness remains. The harness will be replaced. Various hack jobs had been done over the years to support radios etc. The Transmission tunnel is dirty but in good shape as are the floor boards. I'll replace the foot wells but the rest of the floor is solid with minimal rust or damage.

Here is a close up of the rear window frame. 40 years of water have done wonders for the trim strip. Fortunately the metal under it is in pretty good shape. Lead was loaded here as part of the roof seam, and it helped protect the steel under this strip. Unfortunately this was not the case with the truck tub and foot wells etc.

The serial number plate is well faded. The car still bears its 1963 California registration tag and the made in England tag. The engine and transmission numbers match except for the head which was replaced. I found a NOS 3.8 Liter head which will be used in the rebuild.

I'll need to find an original Lucas generator eventually to replace this late model Ford alternator. Its pretty clear in this picture just how tired the car really was. The original Caps for the brake fluid tanks were replaced by plastic juice bottle lids. The heater box is tired, and will need a good bead blasting.

The original Lucas 2FP fuel pump gave up the ghost many year ago and was full of crud. I bought a core and rebuilt this pump. It appears the weak link in these is the brushes. A exhaustive search and discussion on the XKE mail list turned up no rebuild kit for these, so I went to my local parts store and found brushes which were close to original as possible. After some slight mods the pump was put back together and is working like a champ.

The Previous owner had the radiator re cored, this radiator isn't correct. I will need to research the correct 63 era radiator. The bonnet mounting frame is also tweaked and will be replaced. along with the sub frame. I'll salvage the picture frame as it has the original Serial number stamped into it.

Dirt and grease are the order of the day. The original metallic silver blue paint is pretty funky after 40 years on the road. The Sub frame looked good during tear down, it had only minimal rust and no cracks, unfortunately the driver's side frame was bent inward about 2-3 degrees so both sides will be replaced.

I took hundreds of shots of all the detail areas and will compare to other S1 E-Types when putting the car back together. I don't know how restorers got by before digital cameras. All these parts will be sent to professionals for complete rebuild.

The under hood wiring harness is trashed, many mods had been done to keep the car on the road. The entire mess will be saved for reference, but a new harness will be a must. The battery box area is well rusted, but fortunately nothing structural.

Don't think anyone ever replaced the shocks on this car. The suspension appears to have been untouched from the factory. I used several gallons of Chemtool to get these parts clean and will send them out for plating as required. I was surprised overall at how easily everything came apart compared to other cars I've worked on, California cars just have an easy life verses those from northern states.

Engine Pulling

Author: Bill McKenna